Apply for a food licence
The Food Act 2006 outlines the requirement for particular food businesses to apply and hold a licence with council to operate within the local community.
A food business which meets one or more of the following criteria, must have a licence to operate:
- Involves the manufacture of food
- Is carried on by an entity other than a non-profit organisation and involves the sale of unpackaged food by retail
- Is carried on by a non-profit organisation and involves the sale, on at least 12 days each financial year, of meals prepared by the organisation at a particular place
A Food Licence will only be granted to someone who has the skills and knowledge to perform the required functions of the food business.
What type of Food Licence should I apply for?
Please select from the list below what kind of premises your food business will be operated out of and what is required for each.
What to submit to apply for a food licence
The following supporting documentation is required to be submitted when lodging the application form with council:
1. Floor Plans
- Two copies of the floor plan layout, including elevations (to a scale of 1:100). These plans should include all fixtures, fittings, appliances, sinks, benches, shelving units, floor, walls, and ceiling surfaces, and drainage.
- These plans or drawings are to be submitted separately to any plans requiring building and/or plumbing approvals
- For Fixed Food Premises, Home-based Food Business, Mobile Food Vehicle refer to the Design, Construction and Fit Out of a Food Premises (PDF 276 KB) when developing a kitchen layout.
- For Temporary food stalls (annual and one off events), refer to the Guideline for the Establishment of a Temporary Food Stall Premise to determine kitchen layout requirements.
2. Nomination of a food safety supervisor and evidence of their experience with food handling i.e. a training certificate
- The name and contact details of the proposed food safety supervisor for the food business must be supplied
- The food safety supervisor must be someone who is reasonably available to be contacted by staff working at the food business if needed
- The food safety supervisor must also have a high level of food handling skills and knowledge
- Additional information is available on the QLD Health website
3. Food Safety program (if applicable)
A Food Safety Program is only applicable to the following food businesses:
- Businesses that involve off-site catering
- Businesses where the primary activity of the food business is on-site catering at the premises stated in the licence
- Businesses where the primary activity of the food business is on-site catering at part of the premises stated in the licence
- Businesses where the food business is carried on as part of the operations of a private hospital under the Private Health Facilities Act 1999
4. A completed food licence application form:
Fixed Food Premises, Home-based Food Business, Mobile Food Vehicle and Annual Temporary Food Stalls:
- Application for Food Business Licence (PDF 160 KB)
One off event Temporary Food Stalls (to be submitted at least seven days prior to the event):
- Application for Temporary Food Premises (Commercial) (PDF 601KB)
- If you are Non-profit organisation looking to prepare food on a temporary basis, you are required to complete a Non-Profit Organisation Food Event Notification form and submit to council at least seven days prior to the event. Your notification will simply be recorded on council's records and for reference purposes by an EHO as required.
Buying or selling an existing food business?
Food licences are not transferable. When selling or purchasing an existing food business, the proposed new licence holder must apply for a food licence into their, or their company’s, name and receive approval before they start trading.
Council strongly recommends prospective purchasers and/or Food Business Licence Holders to apply for a Health (Licensed Premises) Requisition Enquiry or a Health (Licenses Premises) Inspection prior to settlement.
F Once a business is sold, the new owner/licence holder is responsible for all outstanding requisitions and licensing fees that are owing, so it is highly recommended one of the above applications are made.
Existing licensed Fixed Premise or Mobile Food Vehicle: refer to ‘What to submit to apply for a food licence’ above, and submit an application for an existing food business licence.
Existing licensed home-based food business or a temporary/market food stall: Applications for these types of existing food businesses will not be accepted. A new food business licence application must be submitted. Refer to ‘What to submit to apply for a food licence’ above for details.
Making alternations to an existing premise: contact council’s Environmental Health Officer team to discuss the extent of the changes prior to making the changes. Depending on the extent of the changes, you may need to apply for a new food business licence in order for these changes to be assessed and approved before operation.
Learn more about:
- Application forms and resources
- How to comply
- Fixed food premise requirements
- Mobile food vending requirements
- Temporary food stall requirements
- Footpath dining requirements
- Eat Safe Mackay and star ratings
If you are unsure if your business requires a licence, contact council's Health and Regulatory Services to speak with an Environmental Health Officer on 1300 MACKAY (622 529) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.